Wong Tack slams Aussie ambassador for 'coloniser behaviour' after Lynas comment

KUANTAN: Bentong MP Wong Tack had some choice words for Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowski for saying the Malaysian government was close to extending Lynas' operating licence.

An incensed Wong said Australia must respect the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry's decision to impose additional pre-conditions on Lynas.

"The decision has been endorsed by our Cabinet. Malaysians have said no to Lynas.

"Who is he as an ambassador to run my country?

"Whatever he say means nothing to Malaysia," Wong said after attending his appeal proceedings at the Kuantan High Court here Wednesday (March 13).

Goledzinowski was reported by the New Straits Times as saying that Australia believed the Malaysian government was nearing a decision on the extension of Lynas' operating licence.

He reportedly said the move to change licensing conditions would be unfair to Lynas as it was inconsistent with licensing stipulations and the review committee's recommendations.

Wong said Goledzinowski's statement was an insult to the people and the government of Malaysia, calling it "coloniser behaviour".

"The decision is very clear to Lynas. Malaysians want Lynas to pack up, clean up and get out," said the Himpunan Hijau leader.

Although the Lynas review committee recommended in December last year for Lynas to immediately identify and build a permanent disposal facility for its water leach purification (WLP) residue, the ministry decided that it would not allow the unlimited accumulation of residue at the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Gebeng here.

The new conditions called for Lynas to remove its WLP residue from Malaysia and also to submit an action plan for the disposal of its accumulated neutralisation underflow (NUF) scheduled waste.

Lynas directors said recently that exporting the volume of WLP residue presently on site within the time frame mandated by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board was unachievable.

Lynas' operating licence is due to expire on Sept 2.